This week seemed to be a fairly quiet one in the county, with nothing too unexpected happening. The weather has turned a bit more on the chilly side and a reasonable blow on the weekend gave some reasonable seawatching conditions.
The Pacific Diver remained off Mounts Bay, and the two Surf Scoter off Porthpean, along with the Ring-necked Duck at Dozmary. The Long-tailed Ducks remained at Porthpean, and White-fronted Geese remained around, with 3 also seen to fly inland at St Ives.
Egrets seemed to drop right out of the picture, with a few Spoonbill remaining scattered about.
Unusual passerines were rather few and far between, with a Serin north over Sennen, with 2 Little Buntings also there a few days later. Hawfinches continued to be reported from a number of locations and probably represent a mix of settled birds and those passing through. As inconspicuous feeders however, it does seem that not too many are being readily pinned down and easily twitchable. Yellow-browed Warbler reports dropped off a little, although 3 were recorded at Swanpool. A Water Pipit remained at Marazion, with last weeks Yellow Wagtail present for the first day of the week too.
2 late migrating Ring Ouzel were seen at Porthgwarra (along with a Vagrant Emperor dragonfly) on the 8th, but no hirundines were reported.
A hybrid Hooded Crow was at Gwithian, and a few Chough reports were received.
Wintering seabirds started to build up, in addition to the rarer seaducks mentioned. The blow on the last day of the week did result in a good new species for the county yearlist, with 2 Little Auk from St Ives Island. Other interesting seabirds included Arctic Skua and 4 Great Skuas, with a couple of Great Skuas seen earlier in the week elsewhere. Great Northern Diver numbers continued to gradually build were reported with 10 at Penzance, 9 at Pentewan Bay, and 8 Black-throated Diver in Gerrans Bay along with a couple of multiple counts of the rarer (in most of the county at least) Red-throated Diver around. A Grey Phalarope was seen briefly at Sennen.
Caspian Gulls were reported from Millbrook and Sennen, with an adult Yellow-legged Gulls at Hayle and a 3rd winter at Millbrook, along with a hybrid Glaucous/Herring Gull. Other wintering birds of note included another 4 Goosander from the Tamar Lakes and a good number of c.20 Brambling in a small 85+ mixed finch flock on farmland near Falmouth. Purple Sandpipers were up to 14 by Jubilee Pool in Penzance.
This coming week we should perhaps see more divers and seaducks, some settled Hawfinches (hopefully!) and other late autumn/winter arrivals continuing.
We don’t have any updates on rarity submissions for BiC 2015/6 yet, but in addition to any original artwork, now is the time to sort out and send in quality photos (full frame and raw if possible, these can then be processed and crop according to need) for those years, for common as well as unusual/rares birds. These can be sent to the Photographic Editor Tony Mills email@example.com (As only a limited number of images can be used, please be reasonably selective). You can also send any artwork, digital and originals to the same address.
Tony Langford in Redruth has a number of wildlife books for sale in the For Sale section of the website. If you are interested in any please contact him directly as per that section. These were put onto the site a while back and are now with reductions on many.
I have been moving things around on the menu bar at the top of the website pages to try and rationalise things a bit. Please bear with us as we make some of these changes. One of these changes is making the ‘Members Area’ more prominent. This is password protected – you should be able to use the password in your membership pack, or please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a reminder to gain access.
As per last weeks announcement, we now have a dedicated Student membership page with more information in the menu bar – Cornwall Birds/CBWPS Student Membership
An ideal christmas stocking filler idea perhaps (in my day it was a satsuma and a chocolate white mouse if I was lucky). Hopefully making the society more relevant and accessible to a younger generation of birders and naturalists.
Another new section on the website is in the ‘Walks and Events’ section. Along with the News and Events Calendar, ‘Walks and Events Reports’ will hopefully provide interesting reports on people getting out there and enjoying the county’s wildlife, and showcasing some of Cornwall’s wildlife and biodiversity. If you’ve been on one of the recent events do please send your report and pics in. The contact address is email@example.com
The County list is now up one to a provisional record of 298. Will we get to 300? What will it be? Answers on a postcard please (or email/tweet perhaps)….
Dan Chaney, 14/11/2017